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admin 07.10.2015

Just ask George Boatwright, who has co-owned Mile Post 114 model train supply shop in North East with his wife, Lois, since last April. Unlike many adults with a deep-seated nostalgia for locomotives, Boatwright, a Florida native who lived in Cecil County just one month before setting up shop here, did not grow up with model displays in his home. But there were railroads in the area, and in 1977, he answered a help-wanted ad that Seaboard Coastline Railroad had placed in the local newspaper.
The Boatwrights had been tinkering with the idea of opening a store, and the sudden availability seemed like a sure sign to do it. Since then, Boatwright said, “All the merchandise I brought with me (from Florida) has been sold in the past 18 months. He is now the secretary of North East Rotary and a North East Chamber of Commerce board member.
He said the store does 50 percent of the year’s business in October, November and December.

Karl Reichenbach of Zion Acres also knows all too well the look that comes across the face of many adults when lay their eyes on a model train display. Reichenback has been opening his personal display to the public every holiday season for 25 years.
Reichenbach got his first train in 1949 when he was 3 years old – a Lionel model he still keeps on a top shelf with his display. In 1984, when he opened Zion Market and Deli, Reichenbach set up a little train display in the back of the store. He built the layout in his basement two years later, and opened it to the public that year for Christmas.
He said he would open his display to the public during the holidays “for as long as I live, probably.
Baltimore is the birthplace of American railroading.  Railroad history is chronicled well in railway museums throughout Maryland, and some of those museums are particularly kid-friendly, having exhibits and attractions geared toward children and families.

He started working for Amtrak in 1984, manning the auto-train service that ran from Florida to Virginia. She was also working for Amtrak in Florida in 2006 when a mutual friend introduced her to Boatwright, whose wife had died of cancer a year before.
They signed a lease and opened up shop on April 30, 2010 – just 30 days after moving to town.

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